Funky eighties TV fun with white suits and gun wielding cops in a diamond heist gone wrong, Hotline has it all.
The first season of Miami Vice was about thirty-five years old in 2018, but that didn’t stop NetEnt from trying to bring it back in a slot machine form that year. Hotline is not an official Miami Vice slot so nowhere will you see the names Crockett and Tubbs, but for all that, the slot manages to capture the essence of that show.
After a VHS style intro you arrive on the play screen. You are put into a beachfront with pink sunsets, palm trees and a set of reels on which white suits and red Ferraris are very much the fashion of the day.
It is a lovely piece of retro cool, executed with all the style we have come to expect from NetEnt.
The graphics are a bit of a revelation with that VHS intro setting the scene, in the background the sunset is the exact Miami pink as rendered by 1980s films stock. That sets the mood, while the reels are done with slick modern art styles but rendering characters who are pulled out of Miami Vice, Magnum P.I., and Scarface.
The soundtrack is a fabulous mock eighties rock track that will take you back to the 80s as fast as anything on the scores of Top Gun or the Breakfast Club.
All of this is animated beautifully.
Hotline is a five by three slot machine with a couple of small twists that really make a difference.
There are thirty winlines, but your standard bet is one coin per two lines, allowing for a lower minimum bet than you might expect.
The main twist on general gameplay are the hotlines each of which increases your bet. All three of the rows can be selected as a hotline. If a Wild lands on the hotline it expands and triggers a respin. See below for full details on how the Wilds work.
The result is that the gameplay, though fairly basic, has enough variety to stay interesting if you’re in for a longer session.
If you hit a wild in a hotline then not only does it expand to fill all three spaces on a reel, it also triggers a respin with the expanded Wild locked in place. Your winnings are calculated after each re/spin and added up to your total for that spin.
You can trigger further respins if you hit more Wilds on your hotline or hotlines.
If you hit three Scatter symbols you trigger seven free spins. Scatters only appear on reels 1, 3 and 5.
The return to player for Hotline is 96.13% if you play it with just one hotline. Playing with all three hotlines, though more expensive, bumps this up to 97.04%.
The minimum bet per spin while playing all three hotlines is £/$/€0.45, though if you play just one hotline you can get that down to £/$/€0.15. The maximum bet per spin is £/$/€450.
Hotline is a low volatility game.
A great setting and beautiful execution make Hotline one of the more enjoyable slots to play out there.
It suffers a little from being a bit basic in terms of features, although these are somewhat countered by the frequent respins and expanding Wilds.
It has a good return to player, especially if you play all three hotlines, but its low volatility makes it a bad match for most of our preferred strategies.